Fresh Air

Weekdays at 3 pm

The Peabody Award-winning weekday magazine of contemporary arts and issues, is one of public radio's most popular programs. The one-hour program features Terry Gross' in-depth interviews with prominent cultural and entertainment figures, as well as distinguished experts on current affairs and news. Fresh Air opens the window on contemporary arts and issues with guests from worlds as diverse as literature and economics. Terry Gross is known for her extraordinary ability to engage guests of all dispositions.

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Dear Evan Hansen star Ben Platt admits to being anxious. He frequently worries about the past and also about what's to come, but there's one place where his anxiety tends to subside.

"Being on stage, for me, is kind of the antidote to that," Platt says. "That's the place where my mind is the most quiet."

Fresh Air Weekend highlights some of the best interviews and reviews from past weeks, and new program elements specially paced for weekends. Our weekend show emphasizes interviews with writers, filmmakers, actors and musicians, and often includes excerpts from live in-studio concerts. This week:

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TERRY GROSS, HOST:

When we're young, it's easy to imagine ourselves as always being on the right side of history. We like to think that, if we were trapped in cruel or barbaric societies, we would be the brave ones stepping in to stop injustice.

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It's been nearly 20 years since B.J. Novak first took the stage as a stand-up comic. He still remembers the date: Oct. 10, 2001, less than a month after the Sept. 11 terror attacks.

It was a tough time to be telling jokes and Novak was inexperienced. His set bombed.

It took him three months to get back on stage after that show. But when he did, he booked five shows in a single week, vowing to himself that he wouldn't let a single show be a referendum on whether or not he should continue.

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In the spring of 2020, the British newspaper The Guardian asked a group of prominent novelists, including Hilary Mantel, Marlon James and Kazuo Ishiguro to

Fresh Air Weekend highlights some of the best interviews and reviews from past weeks, and new program elements specially paced for weekends. Our weekend show emphasizes interviews with writers, filmmakers, actors and musicians, and often includes excerpts from live in-studio concerts. This week:

Copyright 2021 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

DAVID BIANCULLI, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. I'm David Bianculli, in for Terry Gross.

DAVID BIANCULLI, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. I'm David Bianculli, professor of television studies at Rowan University, sitting in for Terry Gross. Actress Jean Smart is nominated for two Emmys this year. One is for starring in the comedy series "Hacks," as a comic whose career is in decline. The other is for her supporting role in the drama "Mare Of Easttown," as the mother of Kate Winslet's character. Her comedic timing was obvious in the hit '80s sitcom "Designing Women," and in the early 2000s, when she won two Emmys for her guest-starring role on "Frasier."

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DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

Blue Bayou moved me a lot more than I expected or maybe even wanted it to. Scene by scene, this story of a Korean American adoptee facing deportation is frequently heavy-handed and overwrought. There were moments when I was certain I loathed it — only for it to reel me back in. By the end, I found myself wiping away furious tears, a little angry perhaps at the filmmakers for their sledgehammer tactics, but much angrier at the injustice of what they show us: an immigration system that can tear families apart.

Pulitzer Prize-winning author Colson Whitehead does extensive background research whenever he works on a book. For his latest novel, Harlem Shuffle, that meant learning how stolen items get "fenced."

"There's not a lot of literature about fences," Whitehead says. "But there is actually a book ... [that's] a sociological a study about these guys in the Midwest in the '60s, and one of the first things that struck me was their description of [the fences] being a wall between the straight world and the crooked world."

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Animals living among us often ignore the rules we try to impose on them. Science writer Mary Roach experienced this firsthand when a group of macaque monkeys accosted her in India.

"I was kind of asking for it," Roach admits. "I walked up this trail where I knew there were a lot of macaques, and I walked up holding a bag of bananas."

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TERRY GROSS, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. I'm Terry Gross. Our guest today is banjo player Bela Fleck. He spoke with our producer Sam Briger. Here's Sam.

Copyright 2021 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

Fresh Air Weekend highlights some of the best interviews and reviews from past weeks, and new program elements specially paced for weekends. Our weekend show emphasizes interviews with writers, filmmakers, actors and musicians, and often includes excerpts from live in-studio concerts. This week:

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

The signature Paul Schrader image is of a lonely middle-aged man nursing a glass of booze and writing in his diary, pouring out all his dark thoughts and guilty secrets. In the 1992 film Light Sleeper, it was a drug dealer having a midlife crisis.

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TERRY GROSS, HOST:

Copyright 2021 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

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TERRY GROSS, HOST:

Copyright 2021 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. Our guest interviewer, Arun Venugopal, has the next interview. He's a host and senior producer at public radio station WNYC in New York. Here's Arun.

'Summer Of Soul': Gladys Knight

Sep 7, 2021

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